A key Government advisory body is to recommend an overhaul of childcare services including the introduction of a year's free childcare for pre-school children.

The report by the National Economic and Social Forum is due to be published next month.

The National Women's Council has broadly welcomed the recommendations but says they do not go far enough to tackle the childcare crisis.

The National Women's Council has called for the extended parental leave proposed in the report to be paid, something the NESC stops short of recommending.

With Ireland falling far behind its European counterparts in terms of investment in childcare, The National Women's Council says Government has no choice but to take the recommendations on board.

The study by the NESF is still in draft form but is due for publication shortly.